Senior Citizen Travel to Dordogne

Jun 13th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors, have you heard of the region in France called Dordogne?   It abounds with history and sites that many senior travelers will find interesting.  History alright…18,000 to 10,000 b.c. history.  In the opinion of this senior citizen,  Dordogne is one of France’s best-kept secrets.  It is a region that is not only beautiful with its natural scenery, but the many villages, caves, churches, castles and “jewels of architecture” will enthrall you.

Dordogne is a départment in south-west France.  The départment is located in the region of Aquitaine, between the Loire valley and the High Pyrénées named after the great river Dordogne that runs through it.  The Dordogne is one of the few rivers in the world that exhibits the phenomenon known as a tidal bore.   Beautiful towns await you along with caves and gorges, castles, museums.

A legend portends that when God distributed his castles, he started by the Loire Valley. Going far from there, his bag burst over the Dordogne river and the Perigord region will be eternally thankful for his clumsiness!  La Dordogne is said to have 1001 castles, along with many historical villages and towns.

I’ve been all over France and this region is unlike any of the other.   Everything in Dordogne  will remind you of a history shaped by men’s love for this enticing land, where man meets his match in nature.  The Dordogne is beautiful in the same way as the Cotswolds or Tuscany are beautiful – the way it simply makes you want to stay forever enjoying the quiet, the countryside, the scenery and the peaceful villages all along the route.

The area is well noted for its cuisine, more particularly its products related to ducks and geese. And if you did not already know the fact, foie gras comes from here.  The Dordogne is one of the truffle areas of France, historically the most famous.  Along with truffles, foie gras is considered one of the greatest delicacies in the world of French cuisine.  Périgourdine wines include the famed Bergerac (red and white) and Monbazillac, one of my favorite sweet white wines.

La Dordogne is one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in the country.  When you visit this beautiful region of France and you will discover the chateaux, beautiful medieval towns and villages, unspoiled countryside and prehistoric caves – just some of the many reasons why the region attracts visitors from all over the world.  Video tours will may enhance your interest here.  The capital, Périgueux, has only 30,000 inhabitants.

Driving is by far the best means to enjoy this area as La Dordogne is without doubt one of the most diverse regions of France and Europe.  It is here that the link between Prehistoric Man and Modern Man was discovered.  Lascaux and Les Eyzies will take you back eons of time. Lascaux is the setting of a complex of caves in southwestern France famous for its cave paintings.  They contain some of the most well-known Upper Paleolithic art. These paintings are estimated to be 16,000 years old.

Rocamadour  is one village you will not want to miss as it is an important pilgrimage destination, and has been for 1000 years.  Built on the site of a shrine to a madonna, the shrine became famous for its healing powers, and soon became a stop on the pilgrimage path to Santiago de Campostela in Spain.  The village is essentially just one paved street, lined with medieval houses, several of which are notable and many of which are impressive,  passing through stone fortified gateways.  The Grand Escalier (216 steps, once climbed by pilgrims on their knees) leads from the village to the sanctuaries above, and L’Hospitalet, with its views of the old town, so check out your knees before you take this climb. Enjoy the area. jeb

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